AMANDA TOSOFF/Earth Voices: Let's hear it for the nu art chicks that are taking steps to preserve their creative freedom without being precious. A well traveled jazzbo that has the real flying time ender her belt, this singing pianist merges classic poetry from various sources with modern jazz mixing it up into a brilliant stew that might not be everyone's salmagundi but is a real taste treat. There's enough focus and depth here that her work should not only be supported but nudged from the left to the center. Solid stuff.
THROTTLE ELEVATOR MUSIC/Final Floor: Reaching back a decade to craft this set of the last original music in the can from this crew, they crafted their own space claiming it as subliminal jazz. You can't pigeon hold it with any of the easy reliable tags. The closest you can probably come to describing it to the uninitiated is ECM but not quite. Top shelf sitting down/thinking man's jazz, you don't have to be an egghead to dig it. A fine farewell.
(Wide Hive 355)
TOM TALLITSCH/Message: Continuing to enjoy the freedom being on his own label affords him, the super sax player leads a post bop charge of killer blowing giving any daddio fan more notes per bar than he might have anticipated. With a solid crew behind him that knows the moves and the vibe, this is one of those wonderful fast balls right down the middle that couldn't be more of a perfect pitch. Hot stuff that delivers.
(Tom Tasllitsch Productions 4011)
PATRICK BRADLEY/Exhale: I guess they're calling smooth jazz contemporary jazz these days. With a bunch of the smooth jazz architects hovering in and around this contemporary jazz set, they put away the old blue prints but showed there's still plenty of tricks left in the old drafting tools. With a bounce that's planned as an antidote to Covid and strife fatigue, here's a smoking soundtrack that would have been a great accompaniment to the summer we got cheated out of. Hallmarked by knowing how to hit and mine a groove without wearing it out, here's the chance to enjoy one of those after work, Friday sunset cocktails you missed out on.
(Patrick's Song Factory)
ALBARE/Plays Jobim V. 2: Too bad Albare didn't discover Jobim until the 90s. If he was older and discovered the master sooner, this would have been a great companion piece to Sinatra's Jobim period. He might have even be the bandleader on any possible dates as he once again shows he knows how to lead a crew into giving the music it's proper due. All the input you need from me on this set is to let you know it's out there. There's really nothing I can add or amplify once I let you know what a stone cold groovy set this is. Well done.
DAVE STRYKER/Baker's Circle: Taking a break from his eight track forays, the protean guitarist set sail to swing on a set of mostly originals that isn't afraid of the past and let's the organ and sax lead the way. A wonderfully swinging set with grooves galore, this has all the earmarks of one of those sets you think you are the only one who knows about it but it's really the subject of pre-Internet wildfires that haven't linked up. This is a fine snapshot of another nation under a groove.
HAILEY BRINNEL/I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles: Not all strolls down memory lane are created equally. Here we find a singing trombonist, more interested in being a jazzbo than a diva, digging down into the American songbook for songs that hold special meaning to here being products of an upbringing with a musical family. A happy, bouncy set loaded with swing and chops, neither of which quit, it's a total good time that seems to have rolled out of bed in the 50s and landed on our doorsteps today. Hot stuff throughout.
(Next Level 2109)
MALNOIA/Hello Future: A jazz trio with no bass or drums steps out with a jazz/classical feel and tackles lofty feeling material with a verve that you don't find in egghead circles--which ought to give you a clue as to the eclectic nature these youngsters are bringing to the table. A smart recital/chamber date, this kind of music is in good hands and those hands make it more accessible that past dates you might remember. Solid work.
(Outside In 2107)
TIVON PENNICOTT/Spirit Garden: A sax man and orchestrater that's more about the art than the honk serves up a weighty set loaded with music to make you think and feel. It's not civil rights jazz and it's not art jazz. It's not soul music but it is music for the soul. Thoughtful, wonderful stuff made to be savored while sitting back and soaking it in.
YOKO MIWA TRIO/Songs of Joy: We first came across Boston's local luminary a few years ago and thought it was unfair they were hoarding her all to themselves. Lashing out against the pandemic and other personal set backs, she unleashes her piano fury here with an energy and passion that simply can't be denied. Hard hitting stuff to wake up even the most somnambulant, Miwa consciously decides to remove any limitations and put the gusto front and center. Hot stuff.
SID RICHARDSON/Borne by a Wind: A modern classical cat goes for a different kind of nostalgia here that even seems to take him out of his comfort zone. Mixing it up with a poet and adding an art chick to the mix, this seems like pure beatnik nostalgia where all that's missing is waitresses in black leotards and clove ciggies. Add an audience of some cancel culture steam punk millenials and you've got quite the modern/post-modern tableau. Real modern daddio in the extreme.
(New Focus 285)
Volume 45/Number 76
January 15, 2021
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2021 Midwest Record
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